1 Mar 2011

Harey March

1st 32-34F, 0-1C, almost still, overcast, slightly misty. The cold had made me so breathless on hills that my chest ached. Trying to clear my nose with a glove clad finger applied to each nostril in turn blew up my right ear like a kid's party balloon! Ouch. Both knees complaining slightly. I really don't think that lowering the saddle has worked. I may have overdone the adjustment. I'll try lifting it a centimetre. Only 11 miles but it helped to clear the cobwebs.

2nd 29F, -1C, almost still, overcast. My cold isn't improving and I've almost lost my voice. I woke up with a splitting headache which is very unusual for me. I still managed eight miles pottering around the lanes just to clear my chest. Fortunately I wasn't so breathless as yesterday. Knees okay, even on the hills.

3rd 29F, -1C, overcast, still. I lost my voice last night and was coughing with a completely blocked up nose. So I went round the lanes for an hour to try and clear some of the muck out. I saw a hare sitting on the road. Right knee still hurting but not enough to stop me going out. 12 miles.

4th 31F, 0C, overcast, blustery wind. I raised the saddle again to see if it made any difference to my knees. I am now trying ankling by deliberately lowering my heels on every turn of the pedals. It seemed to help on inclines. I was buffeted by a side wind and it seemed colder than the temperature on the thermometer. 14 miles.

5th 34-41F, 1-5C, full sun, windy. The thaw is really setting in though there is still lots of snow lying. Gravel drives are really mushy as the permafrost melts. I leave deep, water-filled tracks and it's hard work. I saw a few racing cyclists out fast training in the hilly lanes. A few of them waved.

The tired, old, wounded trees are still standing their ground against the invading farmers.

My high saddle position hasn't cured the right knee but I'm still getting about and at higher speeds. Dropping my heels seems to help too. Particularly when my knee complains. Not being able to breathe through my nose, because of my continuing cold, makes me incredibly thirsty. I had to ask for a glass of water in a shop and downed half a pint in one go. I don't normally drink much at all when I'm out and never in winter. Everywhere I go I can smell pig shit despite my cold. 19 miles.

 6th 29-35F, -1+2C, sunny, breezy. I dropped the saddle by 1cm from the "heel on the pedal" standard I had been using. Off to the shops again. Great to be cruising at 18-20mph @ 100rpm. Then I had to come back into a cold headwind! There was a dull ache at times in my right knee as I tried to maintain speed but I was getting too tired and hungry to make any real distance. 22 miles before ((late) morning coffee. I *may* be allowed out late if I'm good. :-)

Well, later I put on a neoprene knee support and took an 8 mile, hilly ride to see what happened. I can't say it helped much but it wasn't half sweaty! I think I'll save the knee support for emergencies. I'm sure I'll think of one eventually.

It's odd, but sometimes it feels as if my right knee cap is loose. Holding it in place with the knee support did not seem to make any difference to how it actually felt. So the weird feeling is obviously virtual rather than any kind of medical reality. "Doctor! Doctor! Do you have anything for a phantom loose kneecap?" :-))

7th 29-34F, -2+1C, sunny, breezy. One of those freezing cold days! I wore two jackets and kept them both on. Right knee not too bad today. Only 10 miles.

8th 29-37, -1+3, breezy, sunny. Headwind for first 7 miles then a side wind back. It hardly seems fair for an out and back! Knee improving slightly. My cold is still hanging on. 15 miles.

Ken Rogers Tandem Tricycle on eBay (end time 11-Mar-11 19:06:31 GMT)

9th 37F, +3C, windy, overcast, wet. 0 miles. The rest might help my knee.

10th 37F, +3C, gales, overcast, very wet, with wintry showers. Wind building to 50mph gusts later. My cold is still hanging on. My wife has it much worse than I did. 0 miles.

The Bertrand trike restoration is coming on well. The whole exercise has been superbly recorded and the images shared in several instalments here:


A useful resource for others stripping or restoring an older trike. The rear axle is Higgins. It even has an eccentric bottom bracket. So anybody seeking details on these should have a look at the excellent images. 

11th 37-40F, +3+4C, sunny periods, windy and building up to 40mph+ later. I left too early for the shops and had to do a loop to kill half an hour. My knee was fine until I climbed some steps into a shop. Then it hurt for a while but went off again. It is obviously still fragile despite a couple of days rest. The wind was getting stronger and the sky darker as I rode home. So I cut short another planned detour which would have put the wind head on. 20 miles.

12th March 37-43F, +3+6C, sunny, windy. I rapidly warmed up but both my knees were complaining. I must have the saddle too high now. Passed a couple of Buzzards beside the road. One took off while the other stayed. Staring at me intently. I had an interesting diversion through some woods. A track resented itself and I followed it. Up and down steep slopes with lots of camber and fallen branches everywhere on a deep bed of leaves. A Woodpecker was rattling loudly overhead.

Later, I stopped at a rural junction just as a mountain biker passed. Trying to catch him proved my cold was still robbing me of wind. I might as well have been pedalling backwards considering the distance he was putting on me on the hilly road. Only 14 miles and getting much windier as I became more breathless. So I headed home for coffee and toasted rolls.

13th 50F, 10C, mostly overcast, winds light. Knee pain coming and going. I'll drop the saddle a little more. Borderline too warm for a jacket today. Ventus GPS logger falling asleep again. A dog tried to attack me so I stopped. It completely ignored its owner who was standing beside me telling me it was harmless!  22miles. I have to go out again after lunch so will add a few more miles. 11 more miles pm.

14th 39F, 4C. Overcast. It rained all morning and late afternoon. I had an early meeting and finished late so no chance of a ride today. 0 Miles.

15th 36F, 2C, overcast, windy. I was leaning on the wind for most of the way there and back. The sweaty, ammoniacal stench of overcrowded pigs made my eyes water and catch my breath. The new saddle height feels too low. I haven't a clue what to do about it except to keep pedalling. Only 13 miles.

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  1. Still 24" of snow on the ground. As bad as it sucks, it's always worse somewhere else. From tomorrow's forecast (all Temps F):

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 1. Wind chill values between -6 and -16. North northwest wind between 11 and 15 mph.

    Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 14. Wind chill values between -4 and -14. Northeast wind between 5 and 9 mph.

    Wednesday Night: A 20 percent chance of light snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. East southeast wind between 5 and 11 mph.

  2. Hi Chris
    Just a quick note to say I've been out on the Gillott for a short ride in the rain today, just a circuit of Brewood and Coven, all good. Have raised the saddle; personally I think its usually a mistake to lower it from its usual height as it puts stress on the knees.

  3. Hi Gunnar, Thanks! Glad to hear you're getting some great cycling weather. You could always trade in the dog for a husky! ;-)

  4. Hi Chris, Are you supposed to trike in the rain? :-)

    Re: Saddle height. I'm trying to find a saddle height which will reduce the pain in my right knee. Lowering it cured the problem last time. But, you are absolutely right. Too low was hard on both knees! I'll keep trying slightly different heights and for-aft positions.